“Souvenirs of Progress” Box Set & Historic Storyboards | A look back to March Forward…

Art, memorabilia, photography & writing reflecting on the 1970s

Collectibles and memorabilia included in the Souvenirs of Progress Box Set are presented as informational artifacts to reflect on an era of turbulence and change in American Civil Rights. It also presents ideas for moving forward during the current political environment.

Contents:
4x Historic Storyboard Posters
4x Ready-Made Protest/March Posters
1x Bumper Sticker
5x Photo Postcards
Essay: Art & Social Progress
1x Bookmark: Reproduction from Cody’s Books in Berkeley
Abbie Hoffman’s book: Steal This Book
Study Guide of Bobby Seal’s book: Seize The Time
3x Documents/Ephemera
by Sandy Shimooka
*HUGE Thank you to Tanner Goldbeck for design, layouts and help with all the printed posters and hand cut stencil work and spray work for the March/Protest Posters!

The transition from the 1960s to the 1970s was dramatic… From the Summer of Love, Woodstock and “Flower Power” to Altamont Music Festival violence, the Weatherman Underground bombings, Charles Manson killings, the Patty Hearst kidnapping, Jonestown massacre, Watergate and Nixon’s resignation. World politics and events also reflected this shift from peaceful protests to the more violent actions in Northern Ireland and terrorism seen with the Munich Olympics, Carlos the Jackal, and the Japanese Red Army.

Collectibles and memorabilia included in the Souvenirs of Progress Box Set are presented as informational artifacts to reflect on an era of turbulence and change in American Civil Rights. It also presents ideas for moving forward during the current political environment.

One of the collectible items included is a full edition of Abbie Hoffman’s landmark book, “Steal This Book” (originally published in 1971) with humorous and serious suggestions for surviving, fighting and liberating. It includes illustrations by Robert Crumb, Skip Williamson, Daniel Glyne, and others. It’s a souvenir from the protest era and while much is outdated, it still stands as a testament of free speech. See the section on Los Angeles, noting the historic, Clifton’s Cafeteria as being sympathetic for bumming a meal with “a good story” and the world’s largest collection of reproduced statuary at Forest Lawn Memorial Park/cemetery.

“The Study Guide” in the Souvenirs of Progress Box Set is a printed edition of Bobby Seale’s book, “Seize This Time” with notes and marks for understanding his history (including his ties to the Chicago 8/7) and the purpose and start of the Black Panther Party (his story vs. main stream media) with motivation and inspiration for community activism.

The art posters for this box set are designed by Tanner Goldbeck from Sandy’s Shimooka’s Historic Storyboard series. The series of work is titled “Historic Storyboards” due to the work being collages based on news and history that are reminiscent of the types of boards made doing reports and presenting concepts for school, film and marketing projects.

The collaged images are inspired by a combination of styles from “kirigami” (a Japanese style of creating pictures by cutting and folding paper, similar to origami) as well as assemblage of found materials, mixed with a personal method of cutting newspaper and magazines and using “ransom note font” to tell stories.

The Historic Storyboards are based on reproduced newspapers with stories about historic news and events that are selected because of their relevance to current issues. This first 3 art posters in the series focus on the 1970s and in particular, use reproduced pages from The Star-Bulletin dated July 13 of 1970.

The initial 3 Historic Storyboards interlink the counterculture movement of the 1960’s to a pivotal point in the fall of American idealism, when protests went to a darker and more violent 1970’s.

The “Gore Vidal/Myra Breckinridge” art piece depicts Gore Vidal as a social and political Cassandra figure (of the Trojan War) with the transvestite character of Myra Brekinridge testing Hollywood, and American society’s, tolerance and openmindedness, like a harbinger of Caitlyn Jenner.

The “Nancy Kurshan & The Chicago 7/from Yippies to Yuppies” art piece gives a human account of idealism coming to terms with real life trials. The 1968 Democratic National Convention’s turn to violence led to the Chicago 8 (Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner and Bobby Seale) being arrested and tried for inciting a riot. The October 1969 trial was the first (nonviolent) demonstration of the Weathermen, prior to the March 1970 accidental bomb explosion in New York that lead to the group going underground and their subsequent name, the “Weather Underground.” By 1971 and 1972, the Weather Underground had turned to violence, bombing both the Capitol building and the Pentagon.

“The End of Peace & Love/Kill Joy: Manson Murders & Irish Protests” art piece explores the end of the peaceful and carefree hippie characterization of the 1960s. The savage Manson murders put an end to hitchhiking, helping, or picking up strangers. People in Los Angeles started locking their doors at night and not freely mingling or hosting open parties. In Northern Ireland, 1970 was the last of the peaceful protests. By January of 1972, increasing clashes lead to British troops attacking and killing protesters, making it known as “Bloody Sunday.”

The “Carpe Diem!” art poster portrays Eve as the origin of free will and choice. It alludes to human nature desiring exploration, learning and choosing for oneself over living an eternity in the Paradise of Eden without free thinking.

The set of “ready-made” protest/march posters (design collaboration with Tanner Goldbeck) can be used both as art, as well as functional tools, to activate, demonstrate, and march to protect the hard earned civil rights progress achieved by those in the 1960s and 1970s. The posters were designed with font styles and images from 1970s era campaigns, but have current day messages. They are made with acrylic spray paint from custom designed, hand-cut stencils on acid free/archival poster board.

The Bookmark is a reproduction of a vintage bookmark from (the no longer in existance) Cody’s Books in Berkeley. I have fond memories of going to Cody’s Books from back in my college days, usually stopping there to hangout or browse several nights a week on my way home. Just passing through Cody’s was inspiring and it provided learning opportunities on far more than just literature. They were a part of the community and even sheltered student protesters escaping attack and tear gas during the Vietnam War years in Berkeley. I was crushed to hear about its closing when the digital age brought down many independent bookstores and publishers of tactile and printed materials.

The essay, “Art & Social Progress,” was written in reflection of the Getty initiative, PST/Pacific Standard Time, that initiated a regionwide retrospective of West Coast Art, primarily from Post World War II Los Angeles. The PST era reflected much of the exprimental, political and progessive movements of that time period and looking back provides reflection on the role of art and how to inspire society to keep moving forward.

Other collectible photos, postcards and stickers are keepsakes with messages to motivate, contemplate, inspire, post and share. America is a life Quixotic… Like Don Quixote’s faulty, romantic quest to slay the dragon, American idealism proclaims to try and fight terrorism, but misleadingly wages the wrong wars.

*The Souvenirs of Progress Box Set is available as a Limited Edition of 15 at A.G. Geiger Fine Art Bookstore in Chinatown, Los Angeles or through ViCA: Venice Institute of Contemporary Art & FAFF: Fine Arts Film Festival.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s